Welcome to another edition of the Game Ranter Banter. Five of our writers take a few minutes out of their busy schedules to give their opinions on some of the most compelling and controversial recent news stories of the game industry. This week, the Game Rant team discusses the return of Larry Laffer, Qwikster’s demise at the hands of its creator, Batman: Arkham City‘s online pass, PlayStation Network has been compromised once again, and Mass Effect 3 officially has multiplayer.
Our readers are as knowledgeable and opinionated as our own writers, so here is the place for all of you to discuss these stories as well as any others that may have piqued your interest throughout the week.
Larry Laffer Gets Lucky Again
The announcement of a remake of Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards brings all kinds of joy to my heart and perhaps other places. The Leisure Suit Larry series was one that was so incredible back during its original launch. It was almost without apology with the kind of tasteful vulgarity that made up its text boxes (remember, no dialogue back then, kids). Although I can’t say that I’ve played many of the games, they were released before I had achieved enough sentience to operate computers, but I have heard legends.
Adventure games have always held a special place in my heart because I love a good story -Especially when that story is saturated with hilarity and awkward situations. Recently, the genre has been given a shot in the arm and it’s absolutely excellent to see that.
I’m glad the Leisure Suit Larry series is getting a fresh start and it will give people a chance to know what the classic games were all about: a hilarious romp in the suede shoes of a chronic womanizer. And remember kids, if you don’t use a condom, you lose the game.
Well that was Qwik!
Cheap shots aside, it was common knowledge that Netflix’s ill-fated attempt to split their streaming and DVD services into two separate companies would only last as long as those tastefully conceived jokes at the name. Now that Qwikster is out of the way, they can focus on the more important things: like how soon they can get Breaking Bad on Stream. While I’ll give them that the idea is sound, they had already done exactly what they tried to accomplish. The issue at hand however, was that people already had their ultimate form of media deliverance.
Clearly, separating the two companies, making their customers pay separate bills, run different queue systems would have muddied the waters, rather than helped Netflix overall. And surprisingly, customers were smart about it for once: they began to bicker while stocks plummeted in a wonderful display of “abandon ship” faithfulness, helping Qwikster end before it began. In fact, the only potentially good thing to come out of the Qwikster announcement was a new nickname for “that guy,” and the potential for video game rentals.
Then again, Netflix has thus remained quiet (both at the initial announcement and now) over what will happen to the video game rental service. With still nothing to be said over pricing, systems that will be included, publishers that have signed on or contemplated as such… it could be some magical hope that people will forget about it and let it slowly die away. Which is exactly what’s going to happen if Netflix doesn’t say something soon.
The Cat’s Meow
It seems like even if your title is notably lacking in the multiplayer that developers/publishers will look for alternate routes to squeeze a few couple dollars out of used game purchasers. The newest idea, brought forth just recently with Batman: Arkham City, is to hype up a unique and distinct portion of your game, and then tell gamers that if they want to play that section, they’re going to have to either purchase the game new or pay a little extra.
To me this sounds like the ultimate bait and switch, and is on some levels worse than the online pass for multiplayer. Obviously, the online pass has grown on gamers, whereas this announcement was extremely unexpected, but that doesn’t forgive the blatant cash grab.
By this time next year I wouldn’t be surprised if every top tier title offered some sort of online pass or single player omission to buy new.
Hackers Gonna Hack
Well, here we are again. Just as Sony began to recover from the April PSN intrusion we hear that 93,000 accounts have been compromised. Thankfully, it wasn’t their fault this time. However, the possibility that the hackers may have stolen the information from another source brings up an interesting point: anyone can be hacked.
Those who think this is just because of Sony’s security need to realize that anyone can be hacked – it happens to banks and governments and of course, it can even happen to Xbox Live. That $60 cover charge? That means nothing. If a hacker wants to break into Xbox Live then they damn well can. In the end, everyone is vulnerable, it’s just a matter of who they target.
Mass Social Effect
Mass Effect 3 is a few months away and we couldn’t be more excited for it. Part of being a fan of such a series is always speculating as to what comes next. What will Mass Effect 4 be about? Will the series get an MMO? Will Mass Effect 3 have multiplayer? As we know now (officially), the question to the latter is yes.
There are many fans out there who are taking the news of Mass Effect 3′s multiplayer as a negative, but they shouldn’t. ME3 can be played just like its predecessors, as a lengthy, in-depth, story and character driven single player experience. That does not change.
However, should some fans (like myself) wish to fight Cerberus or Reaper forces with some friends, why the hell not? The game is built as a shooter where the player always has allies. It almost doesn’t make sense not to let gamers play with friends and BioWare realizes this. The idea of Mass Effect 4-player coop, battling with the game’s weapons and biotic abilities is awesome, and to have it play and have an impact on Shepard’s mission is genius. I’m 100% in and I can’t wait to see where this takes the series next.
One note: Get rid of the stupid heat sinks.